Culture: the recipe to pivot and profit with Amy Brandwein

cultur(ED)
Monday, June 1st
Melissa kicks off season 2 with James Beard-nominated chef Amy Brandwein, who shares how culture has helped her business adjust to—and innovate in—the restaurant industry’s new normal.

Melissa Jezior: Welcome to the Cultur(ED) podcast.
I’m Melissa Jezior your host. On this podcast, I talk to top culture makers in
the world today to unpack the visible and not so visible forces that make up
the often overlooked superpower of organizations. Today we’re kicking off Season
2 of Cultur(ED) where we’re featuring changemakers from the restaurant
industry. I’m thrilled to be kicking off this season talking with Amy Brandwein,
chef and owner of two premiere Washington DC restaurants, Centrolina and Piccolina.


Melissa: Welcome Amy. I’m so happy to have
you here.

Amy Brandwein: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.


Melissa: So first off, I want to say
congratulations on some recent good news, which is nice to have amidst all the kind
of the bad news that we’ve all been facing. Congratulations on your fourth
James Beard award nomination. How does it feel?

Compared to your first second and third nominations.

Amy: It feels like everything and it
feels like not so important the same time

Melissa: I can see that. I know it’s a crazy
time right now. Yeah. Well, let’s start with the topic of culture. The
restaurant industry is famous right for having a tense high pressure culture.

0:01:05

Melissa: Tell me about your experience
growing up in the restaurant industry and how you drew from those experiences
to build your own culture at your restaurant.

Amy: Yeah, so when I was coming up
through the ranks in the kitchen, you know, it was not a time where people were
even thinking about restaurant culture. It was more about creating fine cuisine
at any cost, I guess. You know, and I don’t think anybody really thought of it
as a legitimate industry.

So, you know as I saw kind of like what my experience was. I
realized that you know, it’s an awful lot of work to not get not reap positive
benefits out of it meaning like, you know see a path to ownership or you know empower
people in a way that they feel like their opinion counts, you know. And so
being one of the few women in the industry are definitely in my kitchen that I
was working in many of them, I should say, or being very one of the few female
chefs and Washington or anywhere else, you know, it was uncomfortable at times.


0:02:05

So, you know when I set up a path for becoming an owner
myself, I thought like I really need to create a culture that reflects me I
feel comfortable in and one where everybody feels comfortable and accepted to
share their opinion for like the greater success.

Amy: I think there’s a lot of been a lot
of intimidation and kind of like top-down type management and it can be good if
you’re doing the right thing, but I mean the same time like there’s a lot of
employee burnout and frustration that so that was kind of what my thought was
is to create a group of supportive environment where people felt valued you
know.

Melissa: I think that’s interesting. If you
think that’s a trend we’re seeing in the just broader across many Industries
and I love that kind of concept is like fine cuisine at any cost, right?

Melissa: Like I think a lot of leaders in
the business world is starting to realize that it’s really not about you know
profit at any cost or fine cuisine at any cost. It really is about bringing the
right culture to the organization. And I think the organization then ends up
doing better because of it.

0:03:03

Amy: Yeah. I mean I what I’ve discovered
is culture equals profitability, you know.

Amy: and that’s something that as I
started it, you know, it wasn’t I just wanted to be able to like pay my bills
and create a job for myself you handle and then I realized that the culture was
this thing that was like the oxygen that everybody the customers and employees
were all breathing and it be it became one of the roads to probability of
success, which I was is I was even learning while I was doing it, you know.

Melissa: Yeah, I totally understand that so
I you know, obviously this Covid pandemic is something restaurants were not
prepared for–no one was prepared for. Tell me about how your team responded to
this unforeseen event and decided to pivot and go to takeout and delivery.

Amy: Well, you know, we had been in an
interesting time period prior to this. We had just been through huge massive
year. Meaning we had opened Piccolina, which was our first adventure outside
the first restaurant and so that was a lot of learning, and not for me so much
because I’ve done it so many times, but for the team it was a big learning
process. And then at the same time, we renovated Centrolina.

0:04:13

So, in the space of you know, nine months we had opened a
small Cafe and also completely gutted half of the restaurant. And so, what
happened during that process was when Centrolina was being renovated. We move
some of our prepared food operations over to the cafe because they’re right
across the street from each other, and the market that we rely on for some of
our revenue was no more because it was under construction. So, I had an idea of,
and I didn’t want to lose my customers that relied on the market. We like huge
residential population here. So, what I decided to do was I had I was thinking
like, how do I still you know maintain this revenue stream, how do I make sure
that we’re still connecting with customers? And so, I had an idea to put the
groceries online because we had a we didn’t have a market by said I can still
sell online, and you know. So I set out for this idea thinking that at that
time period that I wanted to continue trying to serve the community, and also I
said well would be really cool if I could deliver groceries to people at City
Center or beyond.

0:05:21

Amy: Because there’s a lot of people say
in Cleveland Park or you know other parts of Northwest you see that want my
pasta or they want the sauce, but they don’t want to travel for it. They don’t
want to make you know, sometimes with traffic and could be 45 minutes. So long
story short is we had already I, so I had already reached an agreement with Caviar
was to delivery service at that point to put my market online.

And so I was it was like this like project in the back of my
head that I was like really excited about and then when pandemic happened, I
had already had my grocery store online. So that part it was a lot of heavy
lifting to my team. I think I was driving my team a little bit crazy because
they’re like, you know, we’re selling like just a few things today and I said,
it doesn’t matter. Like at that time nobody really understood exactly how
important it was going to be.

0:06:10

Amy: We were just entering the data in
the computer and so when this happened I had already been I’d already had an
agreement with Caviar that they would do this for me and it was like the first market
of its kind that wasn’t like an Amazon that they were going to do this for and
so when I already had the agreement then I just like, you know, I put my pedal
around to it and I already had their commitment.

So then they set out about taking my data from the from the
online grocery store that we already had and input it into their system. So
that part was really really easy for us. I mean meaning like we are already
doing it. We’re already doing groceries now, but we had already pivoted before
this thing took place. So that part of it was really exciting for me because
you know, I was like my little like my little geeky project made for shape, but
I was like really happy about it, you know.

0:07:03

Amy: And so that was fun and then you
know the delivery service, you know, gosh we drive around, and I’ve driven
around. It had the pivot hasn’t been too hard. It’s been it’s been interesting,
but it hasn’t been like a huge sea change, you know, my food is known for being
like fine dining meets accessible sort of, so I don’t make things that are
extremely complicated.

I just make things that I think are the best way to do a
certain thing and get out of the way basically. So, it’s very well suited for
what the times are. So, I think in some respects, I just I was very in a very
good position to be able to move slightly different direction.

Melissa: So, in other words you were
planning for the pandemic and you didn’t even know it.

Amy: I have to say pretty much. I didn’t
know that I was, but you know, we renovated the space and we had 50% of our
real estate devoted for the market we modified it. It’s a very long story
that’s not worth getting to but, we modified it and now we have a much smaller
footprint and that was my entire idea with the online grocery stores that my
square footage is much smaller because I want to do private dining. But I want
to have more revenue per square foot in that space and that was why I was
thinking about the market online.

0:08:19

So, this whole thing has been like just a it’s been an
amazing thing. I mean now, you know, the market sales are accounting for at
least 50% of our Revenue now, it’s something else. I mean, I’m not even
shocked, you know.

Melissa: That is amazing. So, I also heard
that you recently had an employee test positive for covid-19 that requires you
to shut down the restaurant or the operation right do a full deep clean. And
then I heard you just reopened again on May 8th. So, tell me did you ever think
about just throwing in the towel?

Amy: Yeah, I mean I thought about you
know, we had been we’ve been open post closure dining closure. I think it was
about a month solid month. We had done the new the new normal and you know when
that happened it just was very, I was very surprised because it just it wasn’t
our entire team was healthy except for one individual, who is doing much better
now. But it was frustrating, and I was scared.

0:09:17

I was I was definitely feeling more fearful, you know and so
we were all home. I have an amazing management team and we’re all home and I used
to talk to them all the time like, you know, once of the started I said, you
have a choice you can work if you want. If you don’t, we’re gonna hire you back
when this gets to a better place everybody wanted to work and I was surprised
that everybody’s—I was very sensitive to how they might be feeling because I
knew how I was feeling pretty I’m pretty tough, you know, and so if I was
feeling I was just very concerned about staff and they all wanted to they were
wanting to come back to work even more. So, it was interesting.

I wasn’t expecting that and so, you know now we just do what
we do, but try to we did, you know, install it even more health practices and
that type of thing and yeah, I mean, I think we’re all kind of in a good place
about the situation that is right now.

0:10:05

Melissa: So, I’m always interested from both
personal experience and professional experience how like unexpected disruptions
whether it be a key employee that quits unexpectedly or this pandemic how and
they’re always hard to with. But I think from them often comes learnings and
growth and innovation. So, I’m curious about what you’ve learned from this and
what how you’ve grown and what you will hope to take into the post pandemic
future both personally and professionally.

Amy: Yeah, that’s a really good
question. I have learned a lot from this, you know, I I think the first thing
is that we as a group are not working as many hours.

Especially we weren’t we’re not working as many hours as we
were before and I think I’ve learned from that that that that makes that makes
for a better team, you know, it’s one of these things that’s part of the
restaurant industry and then the economics of payroll and such that it’s just
very hard to up make the dynamic, you know the prophets work. But I’ve learned
that like I think that there’s a space for trying we have to try to make this
different. I think that’s what I’ve realized is this industry needs to change
and I have re-thought I don’t know how exactly I’m going to implement it.

0:11:17

But I’ve been mulling it over my head that you know, we
should be changing the work requirements and maybe it’s you know, having an
extra staff member on hand because that’s one thing that restaurants don’t have
that that a lot of other industries have. Most industries have you know,
somebody sick, like there’s somebody who can fill in, you know in the
restaurant industry is never like that.

It’s just not so we are unprepared for these times. And so
I’ve really been thinking about what the industry needs to do to try to change
this situation and there’s just a lot of different policies and things that I
think just need to change just around us but also internally you know. Gosh, I
don’t know health care obviously and trying to figure out how to give the staff
more time off so that they can feel more balanced, I guess. I have to say like
I have sort of I am used to working the past which is like looking at all the
food before it goes out and the customers and it’s just you know, it’s the way
that I do quality checks on the food.

0:12:15

And this is just sort of you know, it’s been sort of a
sucker punch, you know, and so it’s been I’ve been able to let go a lot of the
that pressure and sort of just like let my team kind of do what they do like
being managed by me, but I’m not as hands-on right now and I kind of it’s not
that bad of a thing.

[Laughter] I’m learning how to do that. You know, so I’m
trying to you know, I’m learning how to do that.

Melissa: I think that’s amazing and I think
that’s what I think that’s what shows resilience is when people and businesses
can really truly take what they’ve learned and apply it to going forward think
it bodes well for your future and hopefully we’re all of our futures.

0:13:05

Melissa: So being at a head chef and a
business owner, I think you could you possess a very unique DNA that combines
rights got to have a little bit of leadership, a little business sense, a
little creativity. So, taking all of that. What do you think makes what is the
difference you think from being a great chef to being a James Beard
award-winning chef?

Amy: Such a good question, you know,
it’s something that we as industry professionals we think about all the time
like what’s the marker? Like, how does this you know, what is the difference?

You know and I think the difference is just from a culinary
aspect that these types of awards or recognitions are accolades that they’re
the most important thing is that they’re given by your fellow peers, you know,
they’re it’s like what do they consider the mark of a great chef and I think
you know great chefs can be or what’s the difference between being a Jami–you
know a great chef and James Beard Chef. I think that being a great chef is
having, you know, great food moments of brilliance being exciting, you know and
having enough skill that you know, you’re busy, but I think that’s the mark of
a great chef.

0:14:08

I think James Beard chef is this consistency over time
marked with all those other things. So, can you still excite people? Is it
consistent all the time? Is everything that you do excellent? And I think
that’s the marker that people usually look for is you know, not that one thing
is great, and the other things are so so. It’s the consistency all throughout
your entire organization and also kind of like, you know, what are you saying
through your food?

You know what is your what is your what chords you’re
striking and so each chef has their own style and then within that each stuff
that is I think a James Beard Chef makes it they make their mark in some way in
a way that’s different. And so, there’s something distinctive about them.

Their cooking or maybe their personality their restaurants
what they look like what they feel like something else some different thing
that their bringing to the table that makes people go wow, you know.

Melissa: So, in being a celebrity chef, do
you find that that helps you or hurts you in terms of your role of being a
manager and a leader?

0:15:09

Amy: Well, I don’t think of myself as a celebrity
chef. No, but you know, I think my staff I don’t think my staff thinks of me
that way either. I mean I’m not I think they see me coming to work every day
and I think that I mean, they see all the news clips and things like that, but
they also see me come to work every day. And so, I think that’s the thing. They
know that like that’s real, you know, and that we’re here all working together.


So, what makes it easier I think is, you know, when you’re
creating great food and you’re creating this culture and you’re doing things
people are excited about it brings a lot to the restaurant. And that um
trickles down to longevity and you know sustainability profitability. Yeah. I
mean when you have that type of press that’s coming, it makes getting people in
the restaurant easier. It helps the entire organization and then you know,
there’s pressures that go along with this. I think sometimes you know, I’m
pretty down-to-earth think sometimes the staff I have moments where I have to
reinforce that, you know, whatever it is that we’re doing is just not good
enough, you know. And I think that those are the moments where they sort of
like a reality, you know, it’s a little bit of a reality check like, you know,
something is not in line with what I do or it’s not on the standards that I
hold sometimes, you know.

0:16:38

Wait, I have to put down the you know, I have to put my foot
down. That’s just not that’s just not good enough for us. We have to do better
than that, you know, so I think it creates a lot of pressure sometimes the same
time like I think I’m fortunate to cook in a certain way that the customers
really latched onto it, and it’s a way that makes it easy for my staff to
operate. Meaning that like I create food that’s realistically executable with
really great flavor profile and I think that is the thing that on is a one of
our greatest strengths is what can we do realistically. Being realistic I think
and knowing what your strengths are and what kind of chef you are I think makes
things a lot easier to do. I know what kind of show I am that I know what I’m
not and try to put yourself in a situation where you’re not cooking, you know
in a way that you’re comfortable and it creates a lot of problems.

0:17:33

Melissa: I love that idea of being like
setting high standards, but also being really realistic in terms of what you
can implement and being grounded in that because I think that is what creates
excellence in any industry.

Amy: Yeah, I think so. You have to be if
you’re setting high expectations Is that people can’t reach there’s no way
there’s no way that’s gonna work. It has to be executable every day. It has to
be something that people can understand has to be something that they can do
over and over again and you know. It has to be something that is like honest,
you know in your approach and if you’re if you’re you know French chef and your
four-star chef then that’s who you are. Then you create that and that’s your
model and people understand that.

0:18:10

That that’s great. But you know for me, I think it’s
realistically understanding stress levels that are people are under and this I
know because I was in that environment.

It’s about creating a realistically executable food that is
attainable and not—I’ll tell you one thing that I say. I told my staff is that
you know, if a chef is screaming, you know at you know, whoever, the issue lies
with the chef not the employees. As the chef’s the one who hired the sous-chefs,
the chef’s the one he created the menu, the chef’s the one who sets the
standards and staffing. And so, if there’s a problem with the food or people
weren’t doing things correctly ultimately the chef is the one who has to take
responsibility for all this so they shouldn’t be screaming the staff. They
should be looking at their selves trying to figure out you know; how do I fix
this? Because whatever I set up it’s not working.

0:18:58

You know, I think that’s the key to how I view things is
that you can’t create an unattainable environment and then take your
frustration out on your team.

Melissa: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And
I you know that acts I’ve heard actually that you you have talked about a lot
about keeping the need to keep your emotions in check in the kitchen and this
is kind of related to that that same thing and I think it’s something that any
business leader can relate to is that you have to be able to keep your emotions
in check. Tell me how have you learned to self-manage your own emotions and
such a high-pressure environment?

Amy: You know, I have to think you know,
I think being an owner changed my you know, I realized that I have a
responsibility and so being an owner and having I have 80 employees and so
having so many employees, you know, they need you to stay calm and nobody wants
to work with somebody who is losing their temper, you know, so, you know, I
take a deep breath.

I just learned to breathe. Sometimes I’ll go have a glass of
ice water. I’ve told my staff sometimes like go in the corner and drink some
water because usually like after 10 seconds you’re calm, you know. And so, I
think I have to just I just try to not go with my first impulse which is like
release the tension.

0:20:13

I try to I try to pause for a second and breathe and then you
know because I have moments of I’m a I’m sort of a perfectionist, you know, so
I have moments where I get very frustrated, you know, but I have to try to
control it and I understand it’s my job to control that, you know, I have two
feet. Like I said, it’s like the responsibility rests with me to figure out how
I’m going to manage through this, you know, and it’s kind of nice, you know,
you see the you see the positive results of doing it.

And then once you realize that there’s another way to get
through it. It seems like an easier than having issues with staff later because
you lost your temper, you know.

0:20:50

Melissa: Yeah, yeah. I totally I hear you on
that. I was reading a quote recently. I’ve been thinking a lot about during
this whole pandemic and its really, it’s very closely related to what you’ve
been talking about. It’s a leader is supposed to absorb fear but exude hope. And
it’s kind of similar to what you’re talking about. Like, that’s our that’s our
job in terms of creating a culture is to be the shock absorber to ground
ourselves and then outwardly were something you know, we’ve managed the
emotion.

Amy: Yeah, I have that’s something I’ve
learned since I’ve started the restaurant is that you have to face things and
head-on and exude be positive. I mean, I’m a realistic person. I’m not like
always thinking that everything’s going to work out perfectly, but I think that
from the power of Goodwill and your staff and being positive and, you know
corralling everyone to do the right thing. I think the greatest strength is
having that that mindset and with that you do leave through it, that is
depending on you to have a leadership role like, you know, you’re marching in
front of everybody and everybody else is with you, you know, but you have to lead.

0:22:00

Melissa: So, I read that you’re a big
proponent of good communication and that you should not confuse communication
with conflict. So, tell me more about that.

Amy: You know, I think there’s a lot of
times where you know, there’s you know, there’s issues like, you know, maybe
somebody doesn’t understand the task at hand or maybe, you know, staff member
is having maybe issues staying on track. You know, I’ve been reading a lot, I
read a lot about different and not just restaurant things but just all kinds of
things business things and you know. I think one of the biggest problems that
people have is time management so like say somebody who were having time
management problems in the restaurant industry. It’s very easy to get
distracted. You know, I think it’s important to discuss them and discuss them
head-on and you know make sure people understand why there was the issue.

0:22:45

Amy: And I always say that it’s not you
know, it’s I always said that even when I was the brunt of some instruction
that wasn’t delivery wasn’t so pleasant, you know. It was always the lesson
that was being learned and important thing is learning the lesson and I always
say to them, you know, my job here is to teach everyone here how to do behave
professionally and understand this industry of respect, you know. And so it’s I
think if people understand the way you think they really understand what you’re
saying and why you’re saying it and they understand it’s tied to the bottom
line and it’s impactful into whether you’re going to be successful or not. I
think if you explain the metrics of what it is that you’re doing then people
really there with you. You can’t just like say do this and then expect people
to understand why it’s important bringing them into the philosophy of business
is I think is very important. Communication is you know conflict is getting to
the root of the problem.

0:23:40

And I’ve had many, you know, many of my team members, you
know, tell me, you know, not many but my team my management team my poor
management team, they’ll tell me when I did something that that bothered them,
you know, and I think that it’s important to listen to that, you know, um, We
learn from I learned from them all the time. Like, you know, I’ve learned how
to be a leader.

I didn’t just like pop up and be one I’ve made tons of
mistakes and I try to like kind of learn from what they’re saying and then I
try to say, okay, well, here’s my take on this, you know. And I think that
exchange has been super important, you know. But I think I think having the
team be part of discussions that are business-oriented about why you’re doing
things why you want things to happen why it needs to happen a certain way or
what the goal is I think is the thing that makes people really like advanced,
you know. that’s what I think.

0:24:29

Melissa: It gets back to that supportive culture
that you talked about in the beginning of our conversation like that’s part—I
think that would probably be part of building that support of cultures is
teaching people.

Amy: Yeah teaching people business. I
mean, you have to you have to teach, you know, you can’t just be that this is
my restaurant and well it could be it could be.

[Laughter] but it’s not it’s it could be and that’s kind of
what I’ve been, you know, seeing throughout my career through many different
places I’ve worked like you know, this is this is our place. This is my place
you’re going to do this and I don’t like that and do this and why is that like
that and maybe an occasional good job and you see success, you know, but it’s
really like it’s coming as a directive, you know.

My goal is to teach people who work for me the what business
is and like what metrics are, and how do you make a profit, and what do we need
to do, and how we’re going to market ourselves, and we have to keep moving, and
here’s why you know. And they see once they I think they understand that you are
giving them something besides a paycheck. You know, I hope I don’t know.

0:23:39

But I try to say, you know, like my I have some managers
that have never worked in a really high pressure office environment, which I
have I have a background that I worked in legal and political field before
becoming a Chef so I worked in some really high pressure law firms and law
firms doing political work and things like that. And I know what those
environments are like, right so some of my staff hasn’t been in that type of
environment.

So I my job is to explain to them what those environments
are like and what expectations are like those types of environments try to try
to explain to them that this is also a professional environment and this is how
we’re going to make sure that we’re operating in those kind of same lanes
business-wise. And then also it’s helpful because explaining these things makes
them understand that our clients are on the other side of that who are in those
types of environments. Their expectation is X because that’s what they’re used
to. So, all those things are really helpful, but my goal is when people when
they finish working here is that that they understand from an advanced business
perspective. You know what it takes to be like responsible, you know a
responsible high-level type of executive, you know, I mean.

0:27:00

Melissa: I love that. You’re very active in
our local community including being a part where with DC Urban Greens a
nonprofit organization that provides fresh and affordable produce to your restaurant
and the community. Can you tell me what you’ve learned from relationships with
farmers and food producers because I think all of us in any industry have partners
outside of our own business that kind of make the entire value chain work. So,
I’m curious how what you’ve learned.

Amy: I’ve learned a lot in terms of how
hard it is to manage a farm. I mean and it’s very difficult work. There’s other
there’s other factors besides just growing a vegetable, you know, like DC Urban
Greens is an amazing farm in DC.

They have problems with groundhogs, you know, and the enemy
can be groundhog doesn’t sound so serious, but it is when they’re digging holes
in your in all of your vegetables, you know, so those things are like were you
know, you need an invisible fence to keep the deer out things like that.

There’s like there’s impediments that you don’t quite think
about that are environmental, you know that are costly you know, so and then,
you know, just the way that gosh, the role of food is super important what I
learned through this situation, which I kind of already knew, but you know our
supply chain is I mean we the chefs and the restaurants are sort of at the
center of the supply chain and farmers are reliant upon us to sell, you know,
and it’s a very fragile situation and you know, I guess I believe that I’ve
learned from DC Urban Greens is just how important is like hyper local
agriculture as you know, and how important it is to just I think keep your
dollars as close to home as possible. You mean the spending of it and seeing
the money circulate throughout. DC has been really important to me and
impactful.

0:28:55

You see people that are actually employed by some of the
work that you do. It’s very it’s very rewarding and it’s very instructive.

Melissa: I think that’s a trend we’re going
to continue to see going forward post pandemic.

Amy: Yeah, and I’m happy about it
because I kept talking about how I loved urban farming and how we should be
able to do some agriculture in DC proper on these, you know sites of land that
were being converted and you know, it didn’t have that much traction.

But now I think that people are seeing that they are having
much more success getting items from local places local farmers than maybe
outside and then all the problems with the plants and it just highlights a lot
of issues in the food in the food agriculture world.

0:29:42

Melissa: So, in this incredible time of need
for the restaurant industry including farmers and everyone else supporting your
business. What do you want to suggest to me and to listeners to support the
people and businesses of this time in this time of great need and change?

Amy: You know, I think the first thing
is just, you know, patronize the places that you care about, you know, I mean I
myself thought about my dry cleaner I had to do some dry cleaning and you know,
I wasn’t worried—this is when we were in the quarantine. And I was oh my gosh,
like oh maybe I should do one of those pickups, you know, there’s you know
contact was pick up things and I thought of my dry cleaner in the middle of
downtown she’s you know, they probably don’t have too much business has like no
you’re going to get out of it. You’re going to get in your car with your dry
cleaning like you always do you’re going to go take it to them. They need your
business.

0:30:23

You know, I think that people don’t realize like how much
the business is needed and how much like if you do not support or the local
businesses and small businesses. They will not exist anymore. People
underestimate the amount of value in a $100, you know food order a grocery
order or whatever the case may be. It’s hugely important.

Melissa: Okay, so final two questions that
we ask all of our guests. What’s the first word or the one word that comes to
mind? When you think of culture?

Amy: Being.

Melissa: What do you mean by being?

Amy: Being like, how are you being like,
what is your you know, how are you existing? How are you living?

Melissa: Awesome, very cool. And then if you
could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

0:31:00

Amy: Well, there’s an obvious one that
would be perfect in this time. Get this virus done so we can stop wearing masks
and having everyone terrified scared of each other’s terrible. I hate it.

Melissa: I hate it too. I hate it too. Amy.
Thank you so much for your time. And you have you make delicious food.  Thank you so much for it. And I can’t
encourage any of you want to go eat at Centrolina and buy some stuff from your market.


Amy: Thank you very much. I appreciate
the opportunity. Thank you.

Melissa: Wonderful. You have a wonderful
day, Amy, and I look forward to hopefully getting to meet you sometime in
person. Take care.

Amy: Thanks a lot.

Melissa: Bye.
00:32:02